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Autodesk acquires HSMWorks technology

Software is a plug in for competitive SolidWorks product – what does that mean?

by SPAR Point Group staff | October 01, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO – Autodesk announced today it has acquired certain assets of HSMWorks Aps, a developer of computer aided manufacturing (CAM) software. Specifically, the company’s flagship HSMWorks software “integrates directly into the SolidWorks 3D design software, “offering a single user interface for both CAD and CAM.”

The company’s tag line is, “The CAM solution for SolidWorks.”

Through the acquisition of the HSMWorks technology, the company said in a release, Autodesk will add software to control machine tools and related machinery to its portfolio of software for manufacturing. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“The acquisition of the HSMWorks technology brings machining expertise and next-generation CAM technology to the world’s most comprehensive portfolio of manufacturing software,” said Buzz Kross, Autodesk senior vice president, design, simulation and lifecycle products, in a statement. “Autodesk has a long history of making design and engineering technology more accessible, and we look forward to bringing HSMWorks’ CAM technology to a broader group of users.”

On the HSMWorks forum, some users expressed confusion as to why Autodesk would continue to support a software package that supports a direct competitor. “As a relatively new customer to HSMWorks,” wrote a member with user name Michael Webster, who started a thread on the topic, “I'd like some sort of reassurance regarding the continued development of HSMWorks for/as a Solidworks plug in. Obviously Autodesk's goals and direction are not to advance Solidworks' userbase and profits, but its own (with Inventor, Autocad, etc...).

“Our company has no plans to switch engineering environments,” he continued, “but neither do we want to attach ourselves to a dead-end plug in, if that's the direction HSMWorks is heading. These big buyouts are daunting, and the end-user doesn't necessarily benefit in the end.”

However, Tom Mortensen, founder and owner of Copenhagen, Denmark-based HSMWorks, responded in the forum by posting this FAQ:

What happens to HSMWorks? 

Aside from the obvious name change, nothing. The product will continue under the new name, Autodesk HSMWorks, but the technology remains the same.

Will Autodesk HSMWorks continue to be developed and Will I Get Updates? 

Yes, and yes. Autodesk HSMWorks will continue to be developed and we will continue to release updates. Autodesk HSMWorks 2012 R5 is now available and supports SolidWorks 2013. Autodesk HSMWorks 2013 will be released in the near future. 

Will you be able to purchase new licenses? 

Yes. Autodesk HSMWorks represents the very best of integrated of CAM for SolidWorks and there are no intentions of discontinuing the product. 

What about support? 

Support will continue through the existing channel of resellers, email (support@hsmworks.com), and the Autodesk HSMWorks forum (forum.hsmworks.com). 

What are Autodesk's plans for the HSMWorks technology? 

Autodesk intends to integrate HSMWorks technology into the Autodesk portfolio of software, suites, and cloud services for manufacturing. 

Does this mean that HSMWorks technology will be integrated with Autodesk Inventor, similar to its current integration with SolidWorks? 

Autodesk is not providing specific details of future product plans at this time. The intention is to leverage the HSMWorks technology across their entire manufacturing portfolio. 

Further, some forum posters are happy about the purchase: User mbartlett wrote, "Wow. My Son and I were just talking this weekend how cool it would be to have HSMworks run in Inventor. Wohooo!!"

In the press release, Autodesk said it “intends to integrate the HSMWorks technology with its industry-leading software and cloud services for manufacturing, and will make current HSMWorks products available for purchase and HSMXpress available as a free download. Existing SolidWorks customers using HSMWorks will continue to receive support and product updates.”

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